Book Review: The Silence Between Breaths – Cath Staincliffe ****

A group of people settle into their seats in Coach B on the 10.35 Virgin train from Manchester to London Euston. Each of them has a different reason for traveling to London. Jeff is going to a job interview for a much wanted IT apprenticeship. Holly has just landed her dream job organising events. Nick is heading for his sister in laws wedding with wife Lisa and the fidgety children. Caroline is escaping to visit a friend for the weekend. All of the people involved are fairly ordinary going about their normal lives. Something that makes the book seem even more poignant. Each of the chapters is from a different person’s point of view so you get a feel for each individual’s background and motivations.

Halfway there one of the passengers becomes suspicious of a young man who is clutching a rucksack and sweating profusely. Saheel has a plan and it involves getting to Euston and setting off his bomb there but delays on the track have left the train running behind schedule and Caroline is getting more concerned about Saheel’s behaviour.

Given recent events this is the situation that every rail traveller secretly dreads. The religious fundamentalist who is prepared to die for his cause. It builds quite slowly as you get to know all of the characters but it is definitely worth sticking with it as it becomes compulsive reading.

Supplied by Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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